Family Rooms

The aim of providing Family Rooms within maternity units is to offer parents the opportunity to spend further precious time with and prepare to say goodbye to their baby in peaceful and private accommodation.  They are ideally positioned away from the main wards but with maternity staff and medical facilities on hand.  Family members and friends may also visit if desired.

SiMBA provides funding to agreed budgets and works closely with the hospitals to meet their specific needs.  We will try to identify those rooms with adjoining bathroom / shower facilities.  SiMBA then arranges the decoration of the room (usually by volunteer supporters) then sources appropriate soft furnishings and furniture to create a tranquil surrounding, encouraging maternity staff to get involved in completing the Family Rooms so that they also play a key role.

Simpson’s Centre for Reproductive Health, Edinburgh

This is our inaugural Family Room and is situated near the postnatal area within the hospital. To give an idea of the effect of our transformation, we show below “before” and “after” pictures.

Simpson Memorial Family Room - BeforeSimpson Memorial Family Room - After








Simpson Memorial Family Room - BeforeSimpson Memorial Family Room - After








The refurbishment of this Family Room would not have been possible without the generous assistance of the undernoted individuals and organisations:-

Barbara Herkes (Counsellor SCRH) approached John Lewis Edinburgh Furnishing Advisory who kindly agreed to offer their design services free of charge. Funding was provided by Lothian Endowments Committee to pay for installation of a call bell assistance facility.

With the help of Pam Ross, HBOS plc, SiMBA was awarded a very generous grant of £5000 from the HBOS Foundation. £2500 of this was allocated towards the cost of decorating and refurbishing the Family Room. Not only that but 4 employees of HBOS plc (Sandra Adbulai, Pam Ross, Margaret Houlihan & Cameron McKay) gave up a weekend to paint the Family Room and secure the grant monies.

Cheque from HBOS FoundationHBOS plc employees give up a weekend to paint the Family Room








A Dedicatory Plaque in this Family Room reads:

Simpson’s Family Room

This room has been brought together as a special haven to provide warmth & comfort in peaceful surroundings to enable those who spend time here to have precious final moments together….

The room has been furnished by generous donations from SiMBA (Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal) who have overseen the project with the support of John Lewis Design Team, an ample donation from HBOS foundation as recognition of the sanctuary of this space, and Lothian Endowments Committee as an ongoing commitment to bereaved families.

‘Treasured Memories’
Opened 28th June 2007 ”

Borders General Hospital, Nr Melrose


SiMBA completed the refurbishment of the Family Room in March 2009.  Again this is an en-suite room just off the main maternity ward.  Midwife Suzie McFadzan was involved with SiMBA throughout this project and Maternity Assistant Alison Quinn also helped with the refurbishment of the Family Room.  Local painters Garry McShane and Bryan Carruthers also generously gave up their free time to prepare and repaint the Family Room.

Borders Family RoomBorders Family Room

Elaine Cockburn, Lead Nurse for Borders General Hospital said of the facility:- “Thank you so much for all your efforts in making the room a much more pleasant environment. Thank you once again for your good work, it is much appreciated by everyone here and I have no doubt it will be appreciated by parents too.”

Raigmore Hospital Counseling Room

The very first counseling we worked on is in Raigmore hospital, Inverness. The request came from the Chaplaincy staff sharing with us that parents often spend time in this room while in the hospital or for follow up appointments/counseling after the death of a baby.

2a Raigmore room before2b Raigmore room before2c Raigmore room before

3a Raigmore room after3d Raigmore room after3c Raigmore room after3b Raigmore room after

Princess Royal Maternity, Glasgow- Spring 2012

The allocated rooms that were previously used in the labour ward of the maternity unit were at the busiest end of the labour ward, parents often aware of the noisy surroundings. With the help of SiMBA the staff were able to move these facilities to the quiet end of the ward. This was a large project for SiMBA as we not only helped by providing comfortable chairs, furnishings and pictures for two Family Rooms, we also re-decorated and re-furnished their sitting room. Parents often have to spend time in the unit after the death of a baby has been diagnosed or after the delivery so the purpose of the sitting room opposite the Family Room is so parents have separate room to spend time in and family members can visit there too.

Simpson’s Maternity- Edinburgh- Autumn 2012

We were approached by the staff at Simpson’s to see how the charity could help improve the current facilities in the unit for the families who sadly have to use them. Another large project that we were please to be involved in. We worked with the staff in re-decorating and re-furnishing four rooms in the unit, two Family rooms and a sitting room in the labour ward and the counseling room on the ground floor.

As with the Raigmore counseling room this room was previously dark with dated fuirniture; it has now been painted and re-furnished with a new Chris Thomson picture and lights. A much more soothing room.

Chris Thomson pictures in the room’s we work on

4 Staff holding Chris Thomson PictureIn the family & counseling rooms we have worked on we use Chris Thomson pictures, we chose to use this consistency due to the peaceful and tranquil nature of Chris’s pictures all taken in Scotland.  We work very closely with Chris in choosing the perfect picture for each room, often being allowed to choose from his latest range.

Allowing parents to know where the pictures have came from we display postcards in each of our room’s with some of the chosen pictures, allowing parents to have a memory or t purchase a print directly from his website. Chris will give a 10% donation to SiMBA from any print bought by someone who has spent time in one of or room’s.

A Word from Chris

Photography and in particular Landscape Photography is something that has interested me since I was a young boy when I was given an old instamatic camera by my parents. We regularly had holidays away in the caravan and were usually heading for the Highlands of Scotland where we would undoubtedly end up going for long walks.  I would take my camera along with me and photograph pretty much anything I thought was a nice view. Over the last six or seven years my interest in photography has taken off again and I’ve been following that same passion for the Scottish landscape.

We are very lucky in Scotland to have such a diverse landscape, from the mountainous and very rugged west coast to the gently rolling lands of the east coast. The weather plays its part too, especially when we regularly seem to have four seasons in one day; it can help setup some fantastic conditions for a picture. These are some of the things that inspire me to keep taking the photos I take.

Landscape photography can at times be a very solitary pastime which is great when I simply want to take my mind off everyday life and immerse myself in my surroundings. Being at these locations can be quite therapeutic and this is something that I try to bring in to the images I take, I want to try and pull the viewer in to the picture. I think that the images chosen for the SiMBA family rooms have a certain soothing tranquility or calmness about them which I hope will be a comfort for people who find them using the family room.